Monday, September 29, 2008

Sunday Baking and Cooking!

Yesterday was one of those "lazy" Sunday's. I put lazy in quotes because it didn't really feel lazy, but to me that just means no set plans. I woke up to rain, made muffins, ran errands, grocery shopping, studying, and dinner! Full day actually!

First was the muffins! I had two over ripe bananas that I put in the fridge last week because I knew there were muffins in my future. I don't know why but I always make muffins instead of loaves of bread...I just like the pre-portioned packages they make themselves into :) I tend to make my recipe as I go, but I always write them down in case they need tweaking. Although I'd say that these came out great! Hearty, banana-y, and not too sweet. These wouldn't be "bring to work" baked goods because I know everyone at my work's idea of muffins are the high-calorie sugar bombs you get at Dunkin Donuts...not my kind of muffin. Those are like cake hiding in a muffin body.

On to the recipe!

Banana Hazelnut Muffins
(I had bought some hazelnuts and hazelnut meal when I was in Oregon and finally used them!)

Pre-heat oven to 375 F

1 1/2 cups White Whole Wheat Flour (I use the King Arthur brand)
1/2 cups Oat Bran
1/4 cups ground flax
1/4 cups Hazelnut meal (could use almond meal or any other nut meal I suppose)
1 t Baking Soda
2 t. Baking Powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. nutmeg

(feel free to increase the cinnamon or nutmeg to your don't taste it much in these muffins but if you really like a cinnamon flavor in your banana muffins then go for it!)

1 cup vanilla soy milk
2 T Canola oil
1 T Honey
2 T Agave Nectar
1 Egg and 1 Egg white
2 Ripe Bananas (mushed)
1/4 cup hazelnuts (chopped)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)

- Mix Dry Ingredients together in 1 bowl

- Mix wet ingredients together in another bowl

- Add wet ingredients, nuts, and choc. chips to dry and mix until combined...DON'T OVERMIX!!

- Spray muffin tin cups with cooking spray (I use spray canola oil)

- Divide batter among the 12 cups

- I like to top wet muffins with oats and raw sugar

- Bake for 18min

- cool and enjoy!

Before going in the oven:


Personally I think the banana flavor really comes through better after they have cooled for a while (even better the next day). I'll calc the nutritional facts later but I'm guessing around 200cals per muffin but that also has a lot of fiber and protein that normal muffins don't have :) The flavor is much more of a banana muffin than hazelnut, so feel free to play around with extracts or amounts of the hazelnut meal if you want a more hazelnut tasting muffin.
On to dinner... I had bought a spaghetti squash a couple weeks ago, but just never got around to it. For some reason they always intimidated me because it just seemed like a complicated process...I never really knew how easy it was until I saw Kath's video. However, before I got around to the squash I took a package of extra lean ground turkey out of the freezer for some homemade tomato sauce!
The Sauce of the day:

Started by sauteing 1 chopped onion, 4 cloves of minced garlic, a little over 1/2 of a green pepper (chopped, and 2 grated carrots.

Saute in 2 T Olive Oil and seasoned with salt and pepper

Meanwhile in a non-stick pan I cooked up the package of turkey with about 1/2T olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little Penzey's Tuscan Seasoning

After adding the turkey to the pot, I added 2 280z cans of crushed tomatoes, 1 15oz can tomato sauce, 1 small can of tomato paste, 1 bay leaf, some dried oregano, and more S&P.

For the squash: Cut in half length wise (remove seeds) and place open side down on a cookie sheet and put water in the cookie sheet (I put just enough to cover the whole sheet). Baked at 375 for about 40min until tender. Let cool for 10min or so, and then take a fork and scrape out the "spaghetti"! This was so easy and fun! I'd eat it straight out of the squash!

At the end of the sauce cooking I added half a package of baby spinach and let it wilt in.

Dinner is served! The sauce is really thick and chunky and there wasn't a ton of squash so I had a big bowl of sauce with squash on top! Topped with a little shredded parm, and I made two slices of "garlic bread" with whole wheat spread with smart balance, sprinkled with garlic powder and salt and toasted. The two slices cut in quarters for three of us :)

The roomie and fiance LOVED it! So did I! Why have I never had spaghetti squash before!? It's my new favorite...I wish I cooked up more squash to have around.

Breakfast today was a muffin and 1/2 cup of TJ's plain Greek yogurt with raspberries, granola and honey.

I was really looking forward to my leftover sauce and squash for lunch but one of the girls here got engaged over the weekend so we are going out to lunch! I guess I'll save it for tomorrow :\


  1. Yeah, spaghetti squash is awesome - I like to make stir-fries with it, too. So yummy.

  2. OOh, those muffins look great, i'm totally with you on the pre-packaged size of them :) plus then I can stash them in the freezer and pull out one at a time for optimal freshness!

  3. LOOOOVE spaghetti squash; and hey, your muffins are like mine!! Great minds think/bake alike:

  4. Isn't spaghetti squash amazing? I just discovered it last year and felt the same way you did - "why had i not had this before"?? Altough - your picture looks far prettier than my meal the other night - I made spaghetti squash with vodka sauce - it tasted delcious - but photographed horribly!!! I need to try those muffins - they look TDF!

  5. Your Sunday sounds awesome! A rainy Sunday is the best. Your muffins look just like the low-fat berry ones from Panera.. but better, I'm sure!

  6. Your muffins look gorgeous! Very nice! The pictures are awesome as well!

  7. So glad the squash turned out!!! I need to make some soon...